No. 51: 60 Seconds with Harrier Eamonn O’Neill

This next 60 secondser is a very recent addition to the Clonliffe ranks, only six months a Harrier, but is a two time entrant in the Guinness Book of Records!

Bio: Two time Guinness World Record holder for running the fastest marathon dressed as 1. Sumo Wrestler and 2. Surfer (This had to be done in basic flip-flops and carrying a surf board). Need for speed junkie and lover of a half marathons. Give me that PB!

What age did you take up the sport of athletics and why? After running the 2006 Port Tunnel 10k with my brothers, I fell in love with running. My oldest brother had ran a marathon and that quickly became my ambition and ran my first in 2008. I kept running because of the events and medals, I continue to run now because of the culture, peacefulness and clarity.

When and why did you join Clonliffe Harriers? I joined Clonliffe Harries 6 months ago. I joined because I had just moved home from living abroad and had always wanted to join a running club but never had. I just know I can learn so much more and be motivated by my fellow team members by becoming a Harrier.

What is your favourite training workout? I have a love hate relationship with Tempo sessions. In the mist of it I hate them, but after bashing out a solid hard effort you feel awesome afterwards

And your least favourite? It used to be the track. Never went near a track until 2017. After I got over the fear of it, now it’s not so bad.

What’s your favourite race / athletics meet? Ireland – Kinvara Half Marathon, Galway Europe – Race The Train in Towyn, Wales Canada – Grizzly Ultra Marathon in Canmore, Alberta Australia – Ultra trail Australia in Blue Mountains, Sydney

What is your most cherished or proudest moment in athletics? (as athlete and/or coach) Running across the Sydney Marathon finish line, in exactly 3hrs flat and having my sister waiting for me in the finish area while we both burst into tears. It got me to the Boston Marathon.

What was your worst injury – and how did you get over it? Worst injury was a sprained ankle. I just rested over the summer, enjoying life and forgetting about running for a while until I slowly joined back.

(For a coach or seasoned athlete) What piece of advice would you give an aspiring athlete? There is still so much I need to learn but one piece of good advice I’ve heard is that running is a game of patience. Achievements won’t come quick or easy. You just need to be patient.

Do you have any memorable or funny story from Clonliffe Harriers that you could share? (the censorship board may review!) Not yet but will looking forward to creating some.

What’s your favourite meal? A. For competition – Avocado and Toast morning of the race B. Outside competition – Enchiladas

Who is your sporting ‘hero’? (athletics or other) A. Irish – Katie Taylor B. International – Mo Farah or Eliud Kipchoge What’s your favourite…? A. Film – Terminator 2 B. Song – Champagne Supernova by Oasis C. Book – Sonia O’Sullivan’s Auto-biography

What’s your favourite holiday destination? The Canadian Rockies

What’s your favourite hobby / activity outside athletics? Ultimate Frisbee, Bicycle Touring, Kayaking

If you were Seb Coe what changes would you implement to improve our sport? More emphasis on an all-inclusive culture, increased diversity and inclusivity.

How would your non-athlete friends describe you? (in 3 words) Adventurous, outgoing, considerate

What is your next running / athletics goal? (whenever normality returns!) Get another Boston qualifier or break another Guinness World Record How are you motivating yourself to continue training at these difficult times? Understanding that my training up until the lockdown started is my new stepping stone and starting place. Events may be cancelled or rescheduled but it gives me more time to become better and achieve my goals with more ease.

2018: Eamonn World Record for running a Marathon as a surfer, with board & flipflops!